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Being a Mate (friend)
“Mates don’t let mates drink & drive”. A great advertising campaign, though there is one
question that needs to be asked. What is a mate? We use the term loosely; from calling someone ‘mate’ when you
can’t remember their name, or have no idea who they are. In everyday conversation such as, “how ya goin’ mate?”
or “what do ya know mate?” We have ‘team mates’, ‘good mates’, ‘work mates’, ‘school mates’ etc. etc…
Does ‘mate’ mean ‘friend’? If that is the case, then ‘mates don’t let mates drink & drive’
makes sense; then, ‘being a mate’ will make sense. Friends care about the well being of their mates. They make
sure that they’re traveling OK.
The strongest and most effective means of addressing any mental health issue within an
individual is the capacity and/or willingness of the sufferer to communicate their feelings. It can be difficult
to broach matters of serious concern with a professional in the field, adults, authority figures or
parental identities, and this is where ‘mates’ come in to the picture. It seems so basic, yet it is an area that
is oft forgotten. Young people are on the ‘front line’; they are the ones who are most aware of problems
that their peers are experiencing, yet we feel somehow that they are either inconsequential or too young,
inexperienced and unqualified to be of any real assistance. How wrong this is. It is essential then that we
provide younger people and adolescents with certain information, education and suggestions regarding the
functions of a ‘mate’, the character of a ‘mate’ and the importance of ‘being a
- What is a mate/friend?
- Types of ‘mates’ or levels of friendship.
- What you expect from a mate.
- What do you provide someone who is your mate?
- Interactions & communication.
- What to do when a mate has problems.
- Confidentiality & loyalty versus help &
- Strategies to deal with issues of serious concern.
- Who to talk to about your concerns.
sessions are of one (1) hour duration. Despite the seriousness and importance of the topic, there is a need for
it to be run on a less formal basis. In some ways it should mimic or represent the types of casual conversations
& interactions mates have, particularly within the adolescent population.
How the sessions are run & what you can
stated previously, this is a more relaxed type of session, with minimal audio/visual aids. It should be
generally kept to the inclusion of the player alone, without the presence of club, parental or authority
figures. Some printed literature is provided and there is certainly an emphasis on feedback. The session is
conducted later in the program, in order that some of the information delivered in the other workshops may be
able to be revisited or utilized by the player.
©2008 Waldel Pty Ltd